Pictured above: Jose Luis Bueno, former VVC student athlete, baseball player
Being a college student athlete is a challenge on its own. Having to juggle both your academic and athletic life is challenging. Having to add the pressure of transferring to a college or university to continue being a student athlete can sound extremely stressful.
The following tips, ticks and advice were given to me by Jose Luis Bueno to share with anyone finding themselves in a rut trying to find the balance between school and sport.
Bueno also shared his personal advice for things to look for as a potential transfer student.
School or Sport?
According to Bueno, it is important for student athletes to find the right balance between school and sport. After all, they both go hand in hand. “Staying on top of assignments, homework and classwork is very important,” said Bueno. “It is extremely difficult to stay focused on the field if you have to worry about homework assignments or any projects that may be due.”
The following are some tips to keep in mind:
“Connecting with your professors is important,” said Bueno. “Communicating with your professors to let them know that you care about the class will be of great benefit to you.” By doing so it will let the professors know that you care, and they are more likely to work with you.
“When possible, attempt to take harder classes during the off season of your sport,” said Bueno. By doing this it will help with your stress levels. You will have more time during the off season to focus more on your classes. You should also look into taking an extra class if you feel like you can handle the extra work.
Looking to Continue Your Education
The ultimate goal is to transfer as a college athlete. Whether you are using sport for a scholarship or are trying to make it to a professional level, going to the right school is very important. The following are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Does the school provide your major? “If the school does not provide your major, you might want to look or take into consideration other schools that offer a program for your major,” said Bueno. “If the school does offer your major, is it somewhere you see yourself at for the next couple of years?”
Once you have selected a few schools that are possible options, set up a tour of the campus. “Set apart a weekend to go out and visit the campus,” said Bueno. “Look at the schools training facilities, dorms, playing fields, and surrounding areas. Pay close attention to what is at the school but also what is outside of the school and its surrounding areas.”
As a possible transfer student you can also contact the athletic department to see if you can have a couple of words with the training staff and coach of the team.
Playing time is important for any athlete. The most important part is, will you actually play, meaning being a starting player? “This is very important because you do not want to get stuck in a school where you do not start,” said Bueno. “You are sacrificing being away from your family and from your home. Being a starting position player in your sport is a must.”
A final thought. Although the relationship between being a student and an athlete go hand in hand, you must ultimately focus on one more than the other. Becoming a professional sports athlete is not a reality for most college athletes. It is an unfortunate truth. That being said, get your education. If you neglect getting your education, you will find it hard in life. You have to be realistic and think about what the future will hold. After all it is only a game. Your education is for life.